The first Gateways opened in January/February 2009 were the inspiration of Katrin Linden. London was lucky enough to be selected for one. So a sparkling new sim was purchased and called ‘London England UK’. We now affectionately call it ‘Hyde Park’.
This sim was solely for welcoming New Users to Second Life. See Prim Perfect for more about the old Community Gateways: https://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/14/so-what-were-these-community-gateways-an-answer-for-rodvik-linden/
Hyde Park was born late-2008. By January 2009 it had established itself and had an impressive new look. It was now ready to welcome New Users.
Do you remember when New Users looked like today’s Griefers? New users were dropping into the park like flies. Second Life was the next great thing. Its frenzy was much like Oculus Rift today and everyone wanted a piece of it.
When London joined the Gateway Program as a founding member it got a lot of New Users. London representatives took part in regular meetings with the Linden Lab Gateway team.
London had a huge team in those days with one team for each of the 5 Sims. In 2009 London consisted of Knightsbridge, Hyde Park, Mayfair, Kensington and Westminster. They took a lot of managing because we were learning all the time. Nowadays, Jason and the team do it all. It’s well organised and flows smoothly. That was not always the case in 2009. A few feathers flew when sim rivalry reared its head. Today there is none of that and the team works together comfortably.
Check out all the pictures from 2009. London was quite different then. The Hub was brand new, as was the Orientation experience for New Users. The experience took up the entire park in those days.
The park still had crowds as it does today. They gathered in different places though. A popular spot was the Dell cafe near to the Serpentine Lake. Another popular place was the ‘drop zone’ where new users dropped magically into the park.
10 Major World Events in January 2009
1. 16th Eurozone country is added – Slovakia became the sixteenth Eurozone country.
2. Shocking Nightclub Deaths – 61 die in a nightclub fire in Bangkok.
3. Massive Shock – 6.2 magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica´s region of Volcan Poás, with an epicentre near Cinchona.
4. Safe Landing – US Airways Flight 1549 makes an emergency landing into the Hudson River. All passengers and crew members survive.
5. A US First – Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. He is the United States’ first African-American president.
6. Babies Murdered – Dendermonde nursery attack in Dendermonde, Belgium killing two babies and helper Marita Blindeman.
7. Bad News in the UK – UK officially enters recession with unemployment growing by 131,000 to 1.92 million (6.1%).
8. Oil Slaughter – In Kenya, at least 113 people are killed and over 200 injured following an oil spillage ignition in Molo.
9. Gay Power – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir is elected as the first female Prime Minister of Iceland, becoming the first openly gay Head of State in the modern world.
10. Winter Woollies Blues – The closure of Woolworths across the UK meant an end to 100 years of the retail chain.